The Shop Around the Corner (1940)

Genres - Comedy, Romance  |   Sub-Genres - Romantic Comedy, Sophisticated Comedy, Workplace Comedy  |   Release Date - Jan 12, 1940 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 97 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Richard Gilliam

The Shop Around the Corner is one of the screen's best romantic comedies, and an excellent example of the subtle humor and wry character interplay that marked the films of director Ernst Lubitsch. The plot -- likeable people (James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan) who are antagonists in real life but also anonymous pen pals are infatuated with each other -- is ripe with comic potential, but Lubitsch takes the material further, including several bittersweet subplots that give the film richness and texture. The supporting performances are first-rate, particularly Frank Morgan and Joseph Schildkraut, and the film has the classy look that was a hallmark of MGM films of this era. The central story has been reused in various films, including Nora Ephron's You've Got Mail.